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in washington. let's start with this. president obama and his republican opponents are about to go over niagra falls in a barrel, but nobody knows for shush how bad it's going to be. will the economy smash on the rocks below? will the stock market plunge a thousand points and keep on dropping? will the world money watchers see the u.s. drowning in its own dysfunction? or will obama and the dead-end opposition it faces be saved by the public's horribly low expectations of what they can do? what will prove stronger for obama and boehner? the barrels they're riding in or >>> heading over niagra falls in a barrel. let's play "hardball." >>> good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let's start with this. president obama and his republican opponents are about to go over niagra falls in a barrel, but nobody knows for shush how bad it's going to be. will the economy smash on the rocks below? will the stock market plunge a thousand points and keep on dropping? will the world money watchers see the u.s. drowning in its own dysfunction? or will obama and the dead-end opposition it faces be saved b
>>> auld lang syne. propelling president obama to four more years. but when's in store for a second term? and what will the president be able to accomplish before leaving the white house? >>> recent history shows some highs and lows for second-term presidents. what can president obama learn from the mistakes and big breaks that shaped the country for the last 30 years? >>> and a who's who to keep your eyes on for the coming year. and years. will new names emerge as the leading voices of their parties while old, familiar ones drive the early jockeying for the next presidential fight. happy holidays and new year. and hello from washington. that is special year-end edition of "the daily rundown." i'm chuck todd. we'll look at what lessons we got from 2012, what they'll mean for 2013, how power could shift in 2014 and who's taking the long hard look for a bid for 2016 and maybe slipping in 2015 just for kicks. let's get to my first read. how did president obama weighed down bay jobless rate higher than any incumbent since fdr win 332 electoral votes, sweep 8 of the 9 battleground states
and said he was modestly optimistic about a deal on taxes. meeting this the red room, president obama held firm for tax cuts for families making up to $250,000 per year, and joining me on the north lawn of the white house is kristen welker. kristen, let's listen to what the president said about and up or down vote or what he expects from the senate. >> i had a good and constructive discussion here with the leadership about this tax hike on the middle-class. i am optimistic that we can reach an agreement that will be passed in both houses. if an agreement is not reached in time between senator reid and senator mcconnell, then i will urge senator reid to bring to the floor and up or down vote for the floor, and i believe a p proposal could pass both houses with majorities as long as the leaders allow it to actually come to a vote. if members of the house or the senate want to vote no, they can. but we should let everybody vote. >> kristen, this up or down vote seems to be be the big news of the day, and isn't this what the white house wanted all along? >> well, it is. it is prp's way of sayi
's start with this. president obama and his republican opponents are about to go over niagra falls in a barrel, but nobody knows for shush how bad it's going to be. will the economy smash on the rocks below? will the stock market plunge a thousand points and keep on dropping? will the world money watchers see the u.s. drowning in its own dysfunction? or will obama and the dead-end opposition it faces be saved by the public's horribly low expectations of what they can do? what will prove stronger for obama and boehner? the barrels they're riding in or the power of niagra falls itself? joining me now is politico's jonathan ryan. how about an answer on that one? what's going to protect these guys more? the low expectations people have about them getting anything done or failing to do what they set out to do. they all set the deadline. they have the -- what do you call it. the stakes are clear, the payroll taxes, income taxes, you name it. they put it all together. and if they blow it, who's going to get hurt the most? >> well, i think the republicans right now are hammering themselves
>>> democrats won't soon forget the acquaintances they made in 2012 that propelled president obama to four moryears but what is in store for that term and what will the president be able to accomplish. history shows highs and lows for a second-term president. what can he learn from the mistakes and big breaks that shaped the country for the last 30 years? >> and a who's who to keep your eyes on for the coming year and years. will new names emerge as the leading voices of their party while old familiar ones still drive the early jockeying for the next presidential fight? happy holidays and new year, and hello from washington. this is a special year-end edition of the "the daily rundown." also a preview. i'm chuck todd, and all this hour, we're going to look at what lessons we got from 2012, what they'll mean for 2014. how power can shift in 2014, and who is taking the long hard look at a bid for 2016. maybe we'll even slip in something about 2015 just for kicks. let's get right to my first brief. how did president obama weighed down by a jobless rate higher than any incumbent seekin
. pretty cool, huh? >> and a little later what we can expect from first lady michelle obama in her second term. that and a christmas story that is bound to warm your heart. we begin with this live image from honolulu, hawaii where the president and first lady have just arrived. hundreds of hawaiians started gathering saturday to welcome the senator home and pay respects. inouye was a recipient for the medal of honor for his braver. kristen welker joins me now from honolulu. a warm christmas, i see. >> reporter: yes indeed. it is lovely here. >> the president is on christmas vacation and so is congress. that doesn't mean they don't have work to do as the fiscal cliff looms. i take it this is a working vacation. >> reporter: white house officials have described this as a working vacation and talks are going on behind the scenes between white house staffers and hill staffers. the reality is the bulk of this probably won't get done until after christmas when lawmakers are expected to resume negotiations. there is a lot of frustration especially among senior members in both parties in part bec
the start of the new year, it's put up or shut up time for congressional leaders. president obama addressed reporters from the white house this evening. roughly an hour after meeting with leaders of the house and senate. >> i still want to get this done. it's the right thing to do for our families, for our businesses, and for our entire economy. but the hour for immediate action is here. it is now. >> senate leaders harry reid and mitch mcconnell were back at the capitol in no time. mcconnell gathered his members to inform them of the work that needs to be done. >> we had a good meeting down at the white house. we are engaged in discussions, the majority leader and myself and the white house, in the hopes that we can come forward, as early as sunday, and have a recommendation, that i can make to my conference and the majority leader can make to his conference, so we'll be working hard to try to see if we can get there in the next 24 hours. so i'm hopeful and optimistic. >> i'm going to do everything that i can. i'm confident senator mcconnell will do the same. but everybody, this is -- what
haven't learned that they're going to have to compromise. just hours ago, president obama returned home from christmas vacation. looking to jump start negotiations and protect millions from seeing their taxes go up. the news comes after a conference call that mr. boehner held with gop house members, telling them to return to washington this sunday. but just because they're coming back doesn't mean they're looking to play nice. today, senator harry reid blasted the speaker for refusing to even vote on a democratic plan that would protect 98% of americans. >> everyone knows that if they had brought up the house -- i'm sorry, the senate-passed bill that would give relief to everyone making less than $250,000 a year, it would pass overwhelmingly. it's being operated with a dictatorship of the speaker. >> a dictatorship of the speaker. and here's house speaker boehner office responded. senator reid should talk less and legislate more. legislate more? what legislation has speaker boehner been working on while on vacation? while we're about to go over the cliff, the gop has been pointing finge
still think we can get it done. >> president obama is doing everything he can to avert a fiscal cliff disaster for the middle class. the republican implosion gives democrats even more leverage in the fiscal cliff negotiations. i'll ask dnc chairwoman debbie wasserman schultz, will this latest move by the president be enough? >>> revolting, tone-deaf, disastrous. the nra blames everything but guns for gun violence in america including 20-year-old video games, and they reverse an opportunity to heal the country for a commercial for more guns. >> the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. >> congressman jim moran and reverend jesse jackson react to today's circus. >> this is the beginning of a serious conversation. we won't be taking questions. >>> reporting for duty. >> and john kerry biographer douglas brinkley on the senator's big nomination. >> good to have you with us tonight, folks. thanks for watching. it's home for the holidays with no deal. house speaker john boehner only has himself to blame. boehner's plan b gimmick failed big time last night at t
>> president obama and congress are miles apart, but with the president cutting his vacation short, is there time for a resolution. the srkd term shuffle is getting complicated. >> chinese food for former president bush surrounded by family. still in a houston hospital after his health has taken a turn for the worst. good morning. it's wednesday, the day after christmas and this is "the daily rundown" and i'm luke russert for chuck todd. just more day in paradise for president obama while the rest of the family stays in hawaii. he will head back later this evening. he did take out with the first lady to express gratitude with service members on behalf of the nation. >> we know it's not easy, but what we also want you to know is you have the entire country behind you and all of us understand that we would be nowhere without the extraordinary service that you provide. i want to say thank you and we love you. >> kristen welker is live in honolulu. it's early in the morning there, but president obama traveling home to d.c. 10:00 p.m. hawaii time. there doesn't seem to be a lot of urgen
. christmas break is already over for president obama. he's flying back to washington tonight and aides say he's ready for a deal. it's not clear whether this trip is a sign of compromises to come or another display of theater showing the president is willing to work even as his opponents skip town. meanwhile, though, americans are growing skeptical. in the last week alone, gallup found a 15-point drop in the number of americans who think congress will negotiate a deal on the fiscal cliff. that's not all, holiday spending also hit its lowest rate since the 2008 recession, which retailers are blaming on the uncertainty in washington. so where do we go from here? well, since the house failed to get a vote on the tax package last week, all eyes are on the senate. a temporary deal that would basically extend all the tax cuts for those making under a quarter million. the deal would also rescue long-term unemployment benefits and instead of addressing those automatic spending cuts we've all heard about that are set for january 1st, this temporary deal would delay them for another six months. few are
♪ ♪ >> i just called president obama to congratulate him. >> i congratulated him and paul ryan on a hard-fought campaign. >> i pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation. >> we are an american family, and we rise or fall together. the task of perfecting our union moving forward. >> tonight, we are celebrating the year in the news, the winners, the losers, the person of the year. and we will hand out the donald trump award. all right, let's start with the most valuable player of 2012, alex wagner. >> in my book, it is david, you saw the beginnings, with dean, and obama. >> krystal? the most valuable player? >> probably to waiter who placed the camera at the mitt romney fundraiser and captured the 47% comments, which i think showed a lot of people their concerns about mitt romney and the fact he really was not there for all of america. that he didn't understand the problems that average americans were facing. >> let's listen to that little moment of video history. the 47%. >> there are 47% of the people who will vote for the president, there are 47% of people who are
hanger. president obama calls on congress to act after christmas on a scaled down deal that would spare the middle class from tax hikes on the first of the year. >> we've heard plenty of people calling for new gun control laws, but very little from the national rifle association until now. in a bizarre news conference that was interrupted twice by protesters, the head of the nra. it's the same line we've heard before from the nra, but has the country's relationship with guns fundamentally changed since newtown? and what we saw last night from house republicans is yet another symptom of the real problem for the gop. they don't believe in compromise. and they've lurched too far to the right. we begin with where things stand on the fiscal cliff, msnbc political analyst and msnbc contributor jared bernstein. jentle men, president obama tonight said he had spoken with speaker boehner in addition to senate majority leader harry reed. >> i just spoke to speaker boehner and i also met with senator reed. in the next few days, i've asked leaders of congress to work towards a package that prevents
wish to god she had had an m-4 in her office. >> michelle obama gets definitive on a future run for office. and tonight, i will deliver my verdict on spike lee versus "django unchained." >> what's your name? >> django. >>> with little more than four days until the fiscal cliff, we now know that all the relevant parties will be in washington in three days. that's right. three days from now. on sunday evening before the redskins beat the cowboys. the house will finally reconvene. why? is it to finally strike a deal? honestly, no one knows. but one thing is certain. house speaker john boehner and his fellow republicans could no longer weather the incredibly bad optics of sitting at home while the president of the united states and the senate were in washington. president obama arrived back at the white house this morning. the president will host a meeting tomorrow afternoon with senate majority leader reid, senate minority leader mcconnell, speaker boehner, and leader pelosi at the white house. senate majority leader harry reid took to the senate floor this morning to, shall we say
everyone some good here. >> that's right. on friday when president obama spoke to the nation before he left to come to hawaii he urged members of congress to take these days off during the holidays, to cool off and to gain some perspective. here's more of what president obama had to say. take a listen. >> so, as we leave town for a few days to be with our families for the holidays i hope it gives everybody some perspective. everybody can cool off. everybody can drink some eggnog, have some christmas cookies and sing some christmas carols, enjoy the company of loved ones. >> now the president also conceded that given the time crunch, there's probably not enough time to get a large deal done. so he really urged lawmakers to work together to at least get a deal that would prevent middle class americans and that lays the groundwork for deficit reduction and the president saying he remains hopeful that something can get done before the all-important january 1st deadline and i am told by sources at the white house that this will be a working vacation for the president. >> working in terms of what
. with me today, ben stein. steve cornaki is joining us, as well. president obama returned to washington moments ago, cutting short his christmas vacation. the president has now spoken with all four congressional leaders, according to the white house communications director he. the house remains on vacation, but there are a few signs of life in the capital. gop leaders have released a new statement with an old message to the senate. the ball is in your court. the statement says the house will take action on whatever the senate can pass, but the senate first must act. well, this morning, senate majority leader reid slammed the house republicans not not even showing up. >> if we go over the cliff, and it looks like that's where we are headed, the house of representatives as we speak with four days left after today before the first of the year aren't here with the speaker having told them they will give them 48 hours inside. i can't imagine their conscious. >> well, senator reid is expected to hold a news conference about the talks this afternoon. so here is where we stand. reid wants to ge
. who is it, rick? >> unfurl. >> our person of the year for 2012 is president barack obama. >> that's a shock. >> this beautiful photograph. we were in the white house last wednesday. obama posed for a picture, and then we did a terrific interview. the story is by michael scheerer, white house correspondent. and i know you got -- joe, i know you predicted it. i tuned in yesterday. i think it's kind of impossible to do an alternative choice. >> there's sometimes you've got to do that. >> he's a dominant figure. you know, this couple of amazing statistics, is he the first president since fdr to win with a majority of the vote in consecutive terms. he did that, you know, against an unemployment rate that was higher than anybody has ever won against except for roosevelt, 75 years ago. and i think the -- you know, part of what our story did, michael scheerer really was the first person to write about, you know, the data crunchers in the obama campaign. but all that showed, it wasn't just about demography, but it was about how the country really has changed and really is changing. and the
that democrats are terrible because they took $716 billion from medicare for obama care and what do we want to do? pocket the cuts and add more. our chief demand is entitlement cuts. medicare and social security. >> talk about the debt ceiling and where this is played in to this conversation. that is coming up in february or supposed to come up in february. john boehner made the offer to take it off the table for a year but i want to show what lindsey graham has to say over the weekend on "meet the press." >> the big chance for a big deal is that the debt ceiling. that's when we'll have leverage to turn the country around, prevent it from becoming greece and save social security and medicare and to anybody listening to this program, i'll raise the debt ceiling only if we save medicare and social security from insolvency and prevent this country from becoming greece. >> prevent this country from becoming greece. what is your reaction to that? >> absolute and utter nonsense. this country is not becoming greece. this country -- this country, frankly, has a big unemployment problem. we have a deficit
when president obama calls mitch mcconnell, bring the republican leader in the process. what happens now is very important. as sam said, they'll be negotiating today and over the weekend in the senate. and if this $250,000 comes to the floor, if a few republicans attach themselves to what reid and obama agree to, then that means when it pose gophers to the house it has a much better chance of attracting republican support. if mitch mcconnell aligns republicans and tells everyone to oppose it in the senate republican conference, the chances of it succeeding in the house are pretty low. >> sam, is this the end of the road for grover norquist and his pledge? >> it's odd because grover was the one sort of outside government institution on the conservative side who agreed with speaker boehner's plan "b" which would have allowed taxes to go up above $1 million in income. all the other conservative groups say no. i think grover's pledge, i don't know where it goes from here. obviously is doesn't have as much teeth as is it did because there are people who are willing to buck it. >> i think
political move omt year? >> can i be the simon cowell of this panel? i i i'm tempted to say the woel obama campaign. but i don't want to be, like, time person of the year, it's you. if it had to be one person, chris christie. for having the guts to not just look after new jersey, but, literally, hug a democratic president in the face of everything that he knew his party would reign down on his head. help the president. help new jersey. >> so despite the fact you were techt tempted to give it to the ground game, you crossed parties? >> seeing goodwill to all people. >> all right, victoria, are you going to be as bipartisan as richard? >> i'm not. and i'm going to roll it back. i'm going to go back to february because i think when president obama rolled out his contraception mandate, tlafs absolute genius. he foresaw that republicans and the catholic chunrch was going o come out gensz it. he came out having his cake and eating it too. >> so the contraception move by the president way back in march. >> and then you have the susan g. koman competition coming around. >> jonathan? >> well, speak
of it and we've seen president obama take this tactic before. during the payroll tax cut fight, you'll remember he ran out and talked to people in different states and tried to ramp up pressure congress in that way. last night president obama came out, addressed the nation and again tried to turn up the heat on congress by saying essentially that americans are fed up. he tries to bring the public into this debate to increase pressure, so certainly the interview on "meet the press," currently a part of that strategy and the president and his staffers watching these negotiations quite closely going on behind the scenes. >> kristen welker, thanks. we'll come back to you later. >> over to capitol hill now, luke russert is standing by. luke, what are you hearing, if anything, about progress today? >> reporter: this morning, craig, there were a hints of optimism and that's subsided to a degree. as kristen mentioned. there are sources close to the talks that say no deal has been reached and again, these negotiations are fluid. they go up and down. it's not an easy road to get to these things at the en
? does he blink obama's plan to the floor or try to work with mcconnell in this 11th hour. you will have a tough vote for many house republicans. if that level is at 250 and it includes unemployment, make it so republicans may not. >> joy, do you think we have a deal? >> you know, ill'm still very dubious. but if there is a deal, it will be with a majority of democrats in the house and there's a political risk for boehner in that. >> thank you. you've been watching "hardball." we'll be back in one hour with an all-new live edition. until then, "politics nation" starts rite now. >> thanks, richard. thanks to you for tuning in. breaking news, president obama urges congress to make a deal to overt the fiscal cliff. he announces no deal, but progress may be in sight. >> and that would be the wrong thing to do for our e con mu. it would be bad for middle class families and bad for businesses that depend on family spending. fortunately, congress can prevent it from happening if they act right now. i just had a good and constructive discussion here at the white house about how to prevent this t
at some of the most memorable presidential moments of this election year. >>> president obama and senate members will be here in washington tomorrow, but we'll be hearing crickets on the house floor. nbc news has learned the republican leadership has not given representatives the 48-hour notice to return to work, another sign of inaction on the fiscal cliff front. joining me now for our daily fix, mr. jonathan capehart, msnbc contributor and "washington post" editorial writer. jonathan, we're just six days away, no indication from house republicans that they are going to come back any time soon. the leadership has gone mum on that. we know there's not been communication between boehner and mcconnell, obama and boehner. are you amazed with this short amount of time to go there seems to be no sense of urgency on either side? >> am i amazed, given what we went through with the debt ceiling, no, i'm not amazed. i think there are forces here in this town that would like for us, sure people would like for there to be a deal, but going over the cliff on january 1st when there's this notion wher
? >> i know that president obama takes this very, very seriously, and i know that barbara lee and a number of the members of the house have been really pushing this, as it's something not to be forgotten in the fiscal cliff fight. i put my faith in them to continue to raise this flag and to say, we cannot let congress leave washington without taking care of these folks. >> john nichols, as always, thank you so very much, my friend. that's it for the ed show. >>> brother ezra, always good to see you, my friend. >> good to see you too, and happy friday. and thanks to you at home for sticking around for the next hour. rachel's got the night off, but we learned something huge today. we are going over the fiscal cliff. we are going either all the way over or going partly over, but we are definitely, definitely going over. that whole fiscal cliff thing, where congress and the white house can't reach a deal on taxes and spending before the end of the year and they maybe get us into a recession, it's definitely happening. that was the whole point of president obama's press conference
. that is the strategy right now. president obama will be working with what ma jority leader reid trying to get something through. the president wanted a big deal given the time constraints and only six days left, he conceded to a big deal is probably not possible. the goal now is just to get a gap measure to prevent the steep tax hikes from kicking into effect and the deep spending cuts. right now that is the large goal. i can tell you that competence in lawmakers is dwindling according to the latest poll. 50% of americans believe that lawmakers will be able to prevent going-over the fiscal cliff. that is a drop from seven points from december 16th. consumer confidence in the lawmaker'sability to get something done. if we go over the cliff, it could have ramifications including leading the country back into a recession. >> can you tell me or do we know whether president obama spent any time on the phone with mitch mcconnell or john boehner or the republican leaders? that's a good question and has not happened during this holiday vacation. talks between the main players here are largely stalled. there ha
. welcome to this special edition of "m schsnb"msnbc." as for president obama and john boehner, they are miles apart. neither are them talking about the deal the country really needs. kristin, we were talking yesterday that there's a possibility the president was considering coming back early perhaps thshould they strike a deal of some sort. >> i think it's likely president obama will cut his vacation short. we haven't gotten guidance about when that is going to happen. the white house is calling this a working vacation, but the reality is that talks are largely deadlocked over the fiscal cliff. there have been a few conversations going on at the staff level but really the expectation is that the hard work is going to get done when lawmakers return to washington after the christmas holiday, a little bit later on this week. that's when they're going to resume negotiations in earnest. of course there had been hopes that the president and house speaker john boehner were going to get a deal done. if you looked at the beginning of last week, they were getting close to a deal it appe
, a couple day it's, a couple weeks to also hurt president obama because he is also steer -- >> i agree. >> he's a guy who if the markets are tanking people look to the president and say why don't you do something, get these guys to get on board -- >> i understand. >> and get it done. >> i think you're right. i think everybody gets hurt but mostly republicans. late today on the senate floor majority leader harry reid said what has become more and more obvious. the prospect of reaching a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff before january 1st a very unlikely. that's putting it lightly. let's watch. >> there's 435 members of the house. of what goes on in this country shouldn't be decided by the majority. it should be decided by the whole house of representatives. the speaker just has a few days left to change his mind, but i have to be very honest, mr. president, i don't know timewise how it can happen now. >> well, that was plain. this afternoon senate minority leader mitch mcconnell said he wasn't willing to offer the white house a blank check just because we're on the edge of the cliff. take
determined by the exceptional success of people such as barack obama and oprah winfrey." and she makes a great point there, but at the same time can they be representative of the aspirations of the group at the same time? her point is brilliant but -- joe louis represented our interests. >> sure. sometimes exceptionalism works against the african-american community. but also they reflect our current moment. there's something to be said about the way race operates here and reflects our society today. >> dr. james peterson, thank you so much. that's "the ed show." i'm michael eric dyson in for ed schultz. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. ezra klein is filling in for rachel tonight. not django. good evening, ezra. >> good evening, michael. thank you very much. and thank you to you at home for sticking around for the next hour. rachel has a well-deserved night off. but today on the senate there was a rare sighting on the senate floor. especially around this time of year. right now the senate is usually a bit of a desolate place, but today at exactly 2:34 p.m. eastern standard tim
. that was the whole point of president obama's press conference this afternoon. >> i still want to get this done. it's the right thing to do for our families, for our businesses, and for our entire economy. but the hour for immediate action is here. it is now. >> allow me a quick update here. that press conference, it came after president obama met with john boehner and nancy pelosi and harry reid and mitch mcconnell, so all the key congressional leaders. and listen to the president here. >> the american people are watching what we do here. obviously, their patience is already thin. this is deja vu all over again. america wonders why it is that in this town for some reason, you can't get stuff done in an organized timetable. why everything always has to wait until the last minute. well, we're now at the last minute. and the american people are not going to have any patience for a politically self-inflicted wound to our economy. not right now. i just have to repeat. you know, outside of washington, nobody understands how it is that this seems to be a repeat pattern, over and over again. ordinary folk
, mika, and that, of course, barack obama wins, the republicans lose, in a way that perhaps is more telling than just what one election result might suggest. >> well, i think it certainly does and it gives him a certain platform and credibility that perhaps he didn't have before. but watching as these fiscal cliff negotiations have gone through the holidays, it certainly is perhaps a little bit more of a bully pulpit for the president and for his position on taxes. but i think the biggest story of the year came at the end of the year in the past week or so which is the massacre at sandy hook elementary school in newtown and i think the presidency now might be shaped by those events and those are the stories that both barnicle and andrea have chose n as the top story. would you agree this could be a signature for the second term? >> i to do. i do agree with that. i think the events of a few days ago in newtown, connecticut, will help shape a good portion of the president's second and final term in office. i think it gives us a huge impe it tus to changes in this country that had had
three business days to pass legislation to avoid going over the fiscal curb. president obama has cut his hawaii vacation short and is on his way back to washington. the democratic senate will be in session tomorrow but the republicans are staying home. the republican aides tell nbc news that the house will not be in for business tomorrow. they released the statement calling on the senate to act first. senate majority leader harry reid quickly responded with a statement of his own. how else republicans pushed middle class families closer to the cliff by wasting an entire week with their incompetent plan b stunt. it is time for house republicans to put middle class families first by passing the senate's bill to protect 98% of americans from a tax hike on january 1st. the senate bill could pass tomorrow if house republicans would simply let it come to the floor. despite the impasse in washington, a new gallup poll shows 50% of people still believe it is likely that president obama and republicans will reach an agreement before we go over the curb on january 1st. among the believers is conse
>>> breaking news here. president obama, vice president biden, mcconnell, pelosi and reid and boehner are meeting to discuss the fiscal cliff. we are hearing the president's planning to present a smaller offer. for the latest, we bring in peter alexander from the white house and mike viqueira from capitol hill. peter, let's talk about what's going on at the white house meeting. i hear senators are optimistic about a mini deal which, of course, will raise taxes on those above $400,000. expand the amt, cut some spending. what are you hearing? >> reporter: well, hearing a lot of different things right now. one of the items and ruled by rumor and then denials and frustrations, toure. we know that we saw senators mcconnell and reid arriving a short time ago. we didn't pelosi and boehner arrive yet but the vice president joe biden got here a short time ago, as well. there's other reporting from the hill right now about the potential that the president is going to return to what was basically his original outlined plan. perhaps a smaller plan but a plan where the threshold would
>> well, i think obviously barack obama will be an enormous influence on american life and the world in general, depending on what he does in his next two years in the presidency or perhaps the next six years, depending on what happens to the economy in this country. >> all right. well, that's all the time we have here. thank you so much. willie geist, mike barnicle, thanks for watching our special, "the most." it was a lot of fun. >> yeah, it was. >> even if george bush was on the list. i thought you behaved yourself very well. all right. >> yeah. >> well, thank you so much for being with us. >>> merry cliffmas. let's play hardball. >>> good evening. i'm michael smerconish in for chris matthews. leading off tonight, fiscal cliff hanger, president obama calls on congress to act after christmas on a scale-down deal that would spare the middle class from tax hikes on the first of the year. the president met with harry reid and spoke with john boehner. is a grand bargain still possible when everyone is leaving town? >> a week from the shooting massacre that left 20 childre
days away unless congress acts. one step forward, two steps back. president obama and republican lawmakers have been dancing that waltz for six weeks now, but the music stops when the countdown clock at the bottom of your screen runs out. so where do fiscal cliff talks stand at this critical hour? nbc's kristen welker is on the north lawn and luke russert are both following developments this saturday afternoon. kristen, i'll start with you. any indication at this particular point as to what's happening behind closed doors this afternoon? >> reporter: well, i think most of the action is going on in the hill where staffers with majority leader reid and minority leader mcconnell are trying to conjure up some last-minute deal and this plan would not be the grand bargain that john boehner started initially working on. that plan would have dealt with tax reform and deficit reduction and this will be a much more scaled back version that will deal with the issue of taxes and that is still the big sticking point, taxes. of course, democrats and president obama have called for tax rates to
's taking questions. first, president obama and speaker boehner are home for the holidays. bah humbug, fiscal cliff. good morning. i'm joy reed in today for melissa harris-perry. this week, every member of commerce had something in common. they lost one of their own. senator daniel inouye passed away. he was a senior member serving his home state of hawaii for half a century. members of congress stood shoulder-to-shoulder at the memorial thursday bowing their heads to honor their colleague as he lay in the capital rotunda. friday, they came together for a somber recollection of a man who represented an era long gone. president obama delivered the eulogy remembering the senator's key role in the investigation of the watergate scandal. >> as i watched those hearings watching him ask those piercing questions night after night, i learned how our democracy was supposed to work. our government of and by and for the people. we have a system of government where nobody is above the law. where we have an obligation to hold each other accountable. >> president obama was not only honoring a publi
. but they did figure out how to fake symbolically repeal obama care 33 separate times. it didn't mean anything, but when there were things that didn't mean anything that were just symbolic, ultimately they figured out that they could get some of that stuff done. but when things really did matter, like in the debt ceiling standoff, when the republicans decided to block something they happily voted for dozens of times under republican presidents, they did end up having to vote to raise the debt ceiling, but not before they pushed the fight so far and so late that the nation's bond rating got downgraded explicitly because of the breakdown in basic governing capacity in washington. and the length and the ferocity and the pointlessness of that fight -- this to job growth for the term of that fight. not good. the "john boehner is bad at his job" hypothesis is by now a pretty well-founded hypothesis. that was the case even before mr. boehner's republican caucus just imploded last night and gave up and went home and asked the democrats to instead see if there is something maybe they instead can do at
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